South Africa vs India 2018: Bhuvneshwar Kumar replaced Ishant Sharma just before the start of first Test
Indian pacer Bhuvneshwar Kumar was the star of the show for Virat Kohli and co. in the first Test against South Africa at the Newlands in Cape Town as he starred with both bat and ball in the match.
With the ball, he reduced the Proteas to 12 for 3 in the first innings and finished the innings with figures of 4/87 and in the second innings, he registered figures of 2/33. With the bat, Bhuvneshwar was the only Indian batsman who looked comfortable in the middle in both the innings as he scored 25 and an unbeaten 13 in both the innings.
But, did you know that he was almost left out of the playing XI for the first Test?
It is understood that Ishant Sharma was supposed to spearhead the bowling attack along with Mohammed Shami and Jasprit Bumrah before the Delhi pacer was forced to sit out due to illness.
According to Times of India, "Ishant woke up with a severe headache, bordering on the feverish. In a couple of hours, he was expected to buckle-up for the game scheduled 10.30 am local time. Things just did not fall in place. Left to choose between Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Umesh Yadav, the team management settled for the former."
Bhuvneshwar bowled brilliantly in the first Test but was missing the control of Ishant from the other end in the first innings. But, it is unlikely that we will see this combination in the ongoing series, thanks to the performance of the pacers in the first Test.
Ishant's loss is Bhuvneshwar's gain as the UP pacer has cemented his place in the playing XI at the expense of Ishant. This also makes one thing clear that the team management was in favour of Jasprit Bumrah making his Test debut in place of Bhuvneshwar Kumar.